Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mushroom Stock

Why do you need to know how to make mushroom stock? Well, you don't. Chicken stock is just fine, unless you're a vegetarian, and I usually end up using store-bought chicken stock because homemade needs to sit overnight. However...any kind of homemade stock is better than store-bought, and mushroom stock is really quick - only about an hour. Plus, I had the biggest mushroom I've ever seen and I needed to do something with it.

That thing was about 7 or 8 inches wide. I got it at the farmers market from Nichols when I got the Hen of the Woods. The guy told me what it was called, but all I caught was "druid" and my internet searches for "druid mushroom" just turned up a lot of weird video game stuff. I asked when I went back to the market the next week and they said it was a saddle mushroom. Ohhhh. So - I can now officially tell you it's a Dryad's Saddle mushroom. Not a druid mushroom.

Here's the recipe for mushroom stock, exactly as it appears on epicurious.com. Dryad's Saddle mushrooms are a bit hard to come by, but if you have one chop it into pieces and replace both the shiitake and white mushrooms with it.

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 leek top, chopped and washed
4 garlic cloves, in their skin, crushed with the side of a knife blade
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
2 small carrots, chopped
6 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh marjoram or oregano sprigs
2 fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
9 cups cold water

Pour just enough water into the stockpot to start the onions cooking. Add the onion, leek top, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and salt.

Give the vegetables a stir, then cover the pot and cook gently over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with 9 cups cold water.

Bring the stock to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Pour the stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid as you can from the vegetables, then discard them.

I ended up using it to make a mushroom risotto, but of course it would be good for soup or pretty much any recipe that calls for chicken stock.

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